|The Texas-LSU truth - get real about it||Edit | Reply|
LSU is as hot as it gets, winning 13 consecutive games, displaying pitching typical of national championship contenders, showing amazing defensive gems game after game, possessing a steady and classy leader in Mainieri, and an average of about 11 runs per game against the best programs in the nation while displaying consistent scoring with power, along with average.
Throw in the fact that Omaha roots for LSU more than any other program, due to the fact that an abundance of Tiger fans have been consistently a part of June in Omaha since the late 80s (whether the Tigers were in the field of eight, or not), not to mention that Cajuns and Purple-n-Gold cladded types are there in spades this year.
Is there anything at all missing from that formula? You would be hard-pressed to wish for more as a fan of LSU. Perhaps Beyonce and Heidi Klum sporting the purple and gold in the stands?
As for Texas, ESPN rightfully points out that the Longhorns sport one of the most notable programs over the long-term and recent timeframes, so they are no strangers to the CWS, and have a stout six national titles to thier credit. This year's Horn team possesses the ingredient most desire for a title run—dominant starting pitching. The Texas defense has been pretty stout along the path also (save a bit of an issue against ASU), so be assured that this is not a weakness opponents should expect to show up in the best-of-three series that begins Monday night.
The bats for Texas came alive against a more-than-formidable 16-game Ariz State pitcher Friday night, somewhat squelching concerns of Horns fans about a lack of hitting prowess, so the only potential issue of Horn fans may have gone by the wayside just in time for the championship series. The two dramatic home runs in the bottom of the ninth inning against ASU surely got the attention of any Tiger fan thinking that the Texas bats cannot get the job done. Throw in just that, a "get it done" attitude—drama kings if you will—and the overall capability displayed over the last two weeks, and the Horns are hitting the cylinders needed to take the series.
If you have watched the three games each team has played to get to this point, you will see LSU coasting to easy victories with nary a challenge along the way, including a quick two-game disposal of a very strong Rice team prior to arrival at Omaha.
The ESPN broadcast team leaves no doubt as to who they think should win the title this year, and a betting person putting money on the Horns would be doing so in some part based on emotional and tribal affiliation, or based on a hunch, moreso than based on the Vegas line. That hunch, however, would not be something to shy away from if you are from the Orangeblood nation, as the guts and grits of this Texas team are legendary in and of themself. Throw in Coach Augie Garrido, who has the best Omaha resume among active college coaches, and a bet on Texas certainly has its share of merit.
Omaha is the real winner, as LSU and Texas are providing fan support at a level that is unmatched in college baseball. The LSU nation has made Omaha its June home, whether the Tigers are there or not, and the Orangebloods have a savvy and staunch fanbase that is highly admirable to say the least.
So, who is going to win? Let's put it this way. Anyone saying anything definitive about this series, one way or the other, is putting forth a laughable assertion. Orangebloods and Bayou Bengals alike have every rationale reason to justify their chances. Indeed, all should get real about it and recognize that both teams have ample chances of taking it all home in 2009.
As for me, if I had to put down some cash in Vegas, I would have more than my allegiance as a basis for doing so (I am, after all, a Tiger fan through-and-through). As such, I would predict the Tigers to take it all because there is no logical reason not to, and plenty of emotional reasons to do so. That being said, I know that Coach Augie and the Horns will show up with plenty in the tank, lots of get 'er done guts, and could easily take it from my beloved Tigers
Prediction: Tigers get to form the championship dogpile, and bring home the CWS championship trophy to Baton Rouge, but not until being forced to do so in Game Three on Wednesday night, in what should be a series for the CWS ages. Geaux Tigers!